Sunday 22 April 2018

Deco has a message for Manchester United players who have been publicly criticised by Jose Mourinho

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Photo credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Photo credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Jack De Menezes

Former Chelsea midfielder Deco has told the Manchester United players to “deal” with public criticism from Jose Mourinho because “he knows better”.

England defender Luke Shaw has already felt the wrath of Mourinho after he was singled out by the United manager for underperforming in the 3-1 loss at Watford, while both Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan also bore the brunt following the 2-1 derby defeat by Manchester City last month.

Mourinho has shown in the past though that he has no problem with giving critical assessments of his players to the media, with the Portuguese sometimes looking to try and trigger a response and other times signalling the end of a player’s spell with his club.

But the former Portugal international, Deco, has revealed that the United squad need to get on with it and deal with Mourinho’s words if they want to succeed at a club that holds the stature of United.

“If you are playing at a club like Chelsea, United, Barcelona, Madrid — the big clubs — you need to be prepared to do your best. If you want to play at a high level you need to be able deal with everything,” Deco said at the launch of the Star Sixes indoor football tournament at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Having played under Mourinho’s guidance at Porto, 39-year-old Deco is fully aware of how Mourinho goes about trying to produce the best from his players. Having been on the end of a Mourinho tongue-lashing himself, he admitted that while it’s not nice to hear, it’s something that can have beneficial results.

“I don't like the coach criticising me, but he knows better than us players and sometimes he does that not to pressure players but to give something different,” Deco added. “He knows better than us, he's with them every day and of course the players don't like it but sometimes it works.

“At Porto sometimes publicly he did the same thing. It is part of his work, he knows sometimes the player reactions will be different. When you lose and when you are not playing very well you need to improve.

“Whether the coach says it on the media or in the dressing room it is the same thing, when the team is not playing well everyone knows that they need to do better. Maybe Jose knows that when they have lost a few games they need to improve. I don't think it's a problem.”

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